What costs £200 million and dribbles for a living? The answer, apparently, is the Brazilian footballer Neymar. Like a lot of Brazilian footballers Neymar is known only by one name, putting him in the special company of the ‘one-namers’ – chiefly other Brazilian footballers and pretentious musicians like Bono, Sting and, er, Lemar. Now, before I continue I should stress how little I know about football, especially these days. Long gone are the times that I watched Match of the Day every week and vaguely followed the leagues. What I do know is that back then football seemed simpler; it was about football. Since then the top end of the football world has spiralled from daft to ridiculous to insane and I don’t mean that in a good way.
I could spend a paragraph or two listing the things you’d be able to buy for £200 million but you can probably do that yourself. Just imagine if you had £200 million to piss up the wall. Now, think long and hard about the big thing you would buy. Yes, of course you can put some in a high interest account or give it away to charity or to your family and assorted money grabbing fair-weather friends but what if you just focused on one unbelievably extravagant item. A solid gold house or a statue of yourself made from panda teeth or Mariah Carey’s knicker drawer. I bet you wouldn’t buy another human being though. Unless you’re a bit weird.
So £200 million on someone who’s good at keepie-uppie and bad haircuts, which we’re told will really be double that once wages and fees and all that bollocks are added in. And to add insult to injury Neymar lazily claimed (in an interview that revealed quite nicely, as if we needed reminding, just how daft and dull footballers are when they don’t have a ball at their feet) that he wasn’t doing it for the money but for “the experience and the challenge and the challenges”. Oh, I see, the challenge and the challenges. How insightful.
Well there’s not much more to say on this, you can think what you want, so I’ll finish with a little sporting add on, as well as proof that commentators can be really stupid too. I’ve just watched the end of Mo Farah’s race from last night and one bright spark said, out loud, “if there’s one thing about Mo it’s that he’s always there when he says he’ll be, if he says he’ll be racing then he’ll race”. GENIUS!!! Hey, remember that famous runner who never turned up for any of their races? No, not really.
Great race though. Arise Lord Farah will be on the cards soon I expect. I did 7k on the treadmill yesterday. Where’s my knighthood?
G B Hewitt. 5.08.2017